It’s a seller’s market—but that doesn’t mean that first impressions don’t matter. As a homeowner, you only get one chance to set the tone for your prospective buyer’s visit. If you want to make a great first impression, start with the first thing buyers see: The exterior of your home.

If you need a little incentive to tidy up the exterior of your home, consider that homes with high curb appeal generally sell for 7 percent more than a similar home with unkempt exteriors. And to take it a step further, consider that the number rises to 14 percent in slower markets.

You may already have a to-do list, but if not, we’ll tell you the five best ways to increase your home’s curb appeal.

Landscaping

Believe it or not, tasteful landscaping can increase a home’s value by up to 20 percent. So you can imagine the impact poor (or nonexistent) landscaping can have on a home.

While it can be pricey to hire out landscaping services, there are many simple, DIY things you can do on your own.

If you don’t want to plant shrubs or small trees, annual flowers like petunia, verbena, geranium, and marigold are affordable, bright, and easy to plant. They give homes an instant blush of color. Plant these in the flower beds or buy hanging baskets or flower pots—or even better, choose all three.

Since we’re talking about flower beds: Adding fresh mulch to the flower beds is also a nice touch that takes little cash and effort.

Wash the exterior—and enlist a professional to help

When we say “exterior,” we don’t just mean the exterior of the house itself. We also mean the driveway, walkway, windows, and patio/deck.

Soft washing is a safe process that removes unsightly and destructive mold, algae, and other allergens that cling to exterior surfaces.

Do you want prospective buyers to see dirty screens, cobweb-caked window frames, driveways with oil spots, and mold-stained walkways? We think not. A professional house washing and pressure washing job can take care of most of these areas all at once.

While you can wash these areas of your property, we suggest hiring a professional.

Paint the main door

Buyers typically enter your home through the front door. If your door is battered beyond repair, consider replacing it. Otherwise, a new coat of paint will suffice.

Your house may be suited for a bright, statement-setting door, but a 2018 Zillow study found that homes with black doors sell for $6K more than their estimated home value. Take that statistic as you will, but it may be just the incentive you need to pick up a bucket of black exterior paint.

Swap out old fixtures

Modern fixtures transform home exteriors—and when we say “fixtures,” we don’t just mean the lights. Take a look at your mailbox and home address numbers. And while you’re at it, check all the exterior lightbulbs!

Clean out the gutters

Overflowing gutters are unsightly—but they’re also destructive.

Clogged gutters can disrupt landscaping and cause leaks and cracks in your home’s foundation. Just as bad, they are ideal places for rodents to nest.

If you’ve neglected your gutters, we suggest hiring a professional to give them a reset.

Get a free estimate to have professional exterior home cleaning services by Men In Kilts.


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